Monday, January 16, 2006


  • Cartoon Law I: Any body suspended in space will remain in space
    until made aware of its situation.

    Daffy Duck steps off a cliff, expecting further pastureland.
    He loiters in midair, soliloquizing flippantly, until he chances
    to look down. At this point, the familiar principle of 32 feet
    per second [squared] takes over.

  • Cartoon Law II: Any body in motion will tend to remain in motion
    until solid matter intervenes suddenly.

    Whether shot from a cannon or in hot pursuit on foot, cartoon
    characters are so absolute in their momentum that only a telephone
    pole or an outsized boulder retards their forward motion absolutely.
    Sir Isaac Newton called this sudden termination of motion the
    stooge's surcease.

  • Cartoon Law III: Any body passing through matter will leave a
    perforation conforming to its perimeter.

    Also called the silhouette of passage, this phenomenon is the
    specialty of victims of directed-pressure explosions and of
    reckless cowards who are so eager to escape that they exit
    directly through the wall of a house, leaving a cookie-cutout-
    perfect hole. The threat of skunks or matrimony often catalyzes
    this reaction.

  • Cartoon Law IV: The time required for an object to fall twenty
    stories is greater than or equal to the time it takes for whoever
    knocked it off the ledge to spiral down twenty flights to attempt
    to capture it unbroken.

    Such an object is inevitable priceless, the attempt to catch it
    inevitably unsuccessful.

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